Housing starts: three more charts

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Housing starts: three more charts

By HBSDealer Staff - 02/19/2021

Another year is in the books for an important industry metric. These charts tell the story. 

The January residential construction report from the U.S. Census Bureau estimated total housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,580,000. That's a 6% drop for the pace of total housing starts compared to the SAAR of 1,680,000 in December.

Here's how the monthly SAAR data looks for the past 25 months:

Total Housing Starts

Through January, SAAR, in thousands

Source: Commerce Department


The latest report also gave the industry a final figure for the full year of 2020: there were 1,380,000 housing starts for the year. That's up 7.0% compared to 2019. 

Here's the year-over-year percent change for total housing starts in each year since 2001:

Total housing starts growth

Year-over-year percent change since 2001

Source: Commerce Department


A major takeaway from the January report was the double-digit-percent drop in the pace of single-family housing starts. Single-family starts in January were at a rate of 1.162 million, which is 12.2% below the revised December 2020 rate of 1.323 million.

Still, the January rate marked just the 8th time since July of 2007 that single-family starts crossed the high-side of the million-mark. 

Here's the chart going back too 2006:

Single-family starts

Sept. 2006 to Jan. 2021, SAAR, in thousands

Source: Commerce Department

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